Microlearning: Leverage Bite-Sized Courses to Improve Training

by Libby Bevin on January 31, 2020

According to Gartner, “Approaches to learning are stubbornly stuck in the past — too episodic, too rigid, too slow, too expensive and out of sync with today’s needs.” Microlearning aims to solve this by reducing the length of individual employee training courses and the volume of content communicated in each lesson. Information is presented in more digestible pieces so it can be learned more quickly and accurately, with greater expected retention.

The advantages of this approach? It cuts down on the time needed to establish new policies and reinforce existing ones. This is one of the main reasons microlearning is gaining steam in organizations, and was identified as a leading trend for 2020 in NEOGOV’s report.

Given that 75% of employees believe that their organization doesn’t have an effective learning culture (Source: Gartner), it’s no surprise that organizations are rethinking how they provide new skills training.

The average attention span is decreasing, making longer content less effective. “Content is increasing in volume, which exhausts our attention and our urge for ‘newness’ causes us to collectively switch between topics more regularly,” explains Philipp Lorenz-Spreen of Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

The need for employee training in the public sector cannot be overstated as positions are vacated by retiring baby boomers and new generations are often brought in with no knowledge of processes, best practices, or compliance requirements.

There’s proof it works better, too. According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, “Learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient.”

There are a load of benefits for organizations that use microlearning. First, it reduces the potential for information overload, makes lessons easier to remember, and when you’re developing it from scratch, it’s faster to produce, which means you can also roll it out more quickly. That makes it a great vehicle for communicating timely, meaningful, and relevant content.

Because microlearning courses are designed to take only a few minutes, they have minimal impact on an individual’s workload and are less likely to be delayed. You can also create tighter deadlines for learners, with less pushback and fewer excuses.

Here are a handful of ideas on how you can use microlearning in your public sector organization:

  • How-to guides
  • Skills training
  • Soft skills development
  • New policy communication
  • Process overviews

See for yourself how effective microlearning is. Take a microlearning course from NEOGOV’s growing library of courses now:



Libby Bevin

Libby Bevin is a content writer and editor for NEOGOV. Libby earned a Master of Arts in English Literature and Language from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Stetson University. Contact Libby at lbevin@neogov.net.